AL=OA, in case you hadn’t heard

No, not that AL. Or that AL either.

I can’t imagine there are many readers here who haven’t seen this announced on at least one other blog, but George Eberhart is a friend and this is, in fact, a terrific announcement, so here ’tis:

American Libraries Direct–available to everybody

American Libraries‘ weekly e-newsletter, the remarkable American Libraries Direct, is now available to anyone who wants to sign up for it, not just ALA members. When I say “remarkable”–well, maybe I’m easily impressed, but I like AL Direct a lot. You’ll find the signup form and the FAQ here.

AL Inside Scoop–another blog

To quote George’s email directly:

American Libraries has launched its own blog, AL Inside Scoop. Editor-in-chief Leonard Kniffel offers an insider’s view of goings-on at ALA headquarters and what hot topics ALA staffers are talking about in the hallways. Associate Editor Greg Landgraf offers his perspective from “the lower floors” of what many see as the ALA ivory tower.

AL goes Gold OA (although it’s not a refereed scholarly journal)

A few weeks back, I chose not to post about the irony of Elsevier employees preaching to ALA about taking the work of scholars (provided free) and then selling it back to the profession. Partly because, even though it came off a little oddly coming from a branch of Reed Elsevier, the point was still good. (Incidentally, Information Technology and Libraries does now offer gold open acess but with a six-month embargo. Yes, I’m discussing it and the feasibility of at least making the refereed articles immediately open… And as far as I know, ITAL and most other ALA divisional refereed scholarly publications haver for a long time offered rights assignments consistent with green OA.)

Meanwhile, American Libraries has taken the plunge–not that it’s refereed or a scholarly journal, but still:

Login is no longer required to view the current issue of the American Libraries print magazine online (in PDF format), or to view the archives, which date back to the January 2003 issue. Go here. First-time viewers will need to install the ebrary reader to view issues. Firefox 3 users installing the reader for the first time will need a workaround.

I have an interesting track record with American Libraries. AL published a dozen (or so) articles of mine, then gave me a column…and then dropped the column just less than three years later, after 32 editions. I read the magazine and enjoy it, and I’m pleased to see it become openly available. I regard it as the best and, I believe, most widely read magazine in the field.

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